Wednesday 7 June 2017

BSBI Summer Meeting: Report from Day Two

Silene nutans seen at the ASM
Image: L. Gravestock
Here is the latest report from Jonathan Shanklin, organiser of this year's BSBI Annual Summer Meeting, on Day Two of this five-day event:

"The weather forecast changed overnight, and leaving Cheshire in the morning things looked ominous for our excursion - lashing rain and strong winds. 

"In the event we only had one sharp shower during the day lasting a few minutes, but the strong winds continued throughout the day.

Botanists at Graig Fawr, ASM 2017
Image: L. Gravestock
"Our first destination was Gronant dunes, mid way between Prestatyn and the Point of Ayr. 

"The party split into two groups, one going west lead by Emily Meilleur, the County Recorder for Flintshire, and I led the other group going east. 

"My group had a short walk before they could start recording in the monad, but then set to with gusto, eventually recording around 150 species. 
Ian Woodward (BTO) braves the
elements to photograph Sea Holly
& Portland Spurge
Image: J. Shanklin

"Notable for the environment was Filipendula vulgaris, but there were plenty of more expected species such as Vulpia fasiculata and Oenanthe lachenallii

"We could have found much more but had to return to the coach in time to get to our afternoon destination.

"Graig Fawr, a limestone escarpment was our target, with three groups, Emily taking one along the disused railway line, now a foot/cycle path, BSBI Welsh Officer Polly Spencer-Vellacott taking a group to the top, and I took a group to the middle ground. 

"I think I drew the short straw as the others had Epipactis atropururea, Veronica spicata, Juniperus communis, Helianthemum oelandicum and other goodies. 

Botanists at Prestatyn Dunes, wrapped up and
undaunted by the "Summer" Meeting weather!
Image: L. Gravestock
"My group did find some nice grassland species, with Briza media, Helianthemum numularium and others now under threat in England but still common enough in Wales.

"Then it was back to the hotel for dinner, the Welsh AGM and a toast to John Topp, who very kindly bequeathed a sum of money so that botanists could have a drink on him at the Welsh AGM. 

"But before the reports from the BSBI Welsh Officer, the Chair of the Committee for Wales and the editor of the Welsh Bulletin, there was a rather special announcement..." 

Click here for a hint as to what that might be about - and watch out for the next blogpost!

Helianthemum oelandicum at Graig Fawr
Image: L. Gravestock

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